It's convention time! Everyone here is so happy to serve their country. Truly, they couldn't be happier. But the happiest of them all? Catherine, practicing the announcement of her engagement, and her introduction of the lucky beau, in front of her mother and her mother's staff.
Her closer: "I love you, Mom."
Selina's face sours into what can best be described as squiggle-line-for-a-mouth emoji. She rejects not just Catherine's love but Catherine's weak ability to express it. Naturally, Gary jumps in to be all, "It's so easy! I LOVE YOU, MOM," looking at Selina with over-the-top enthusiasm. Ooookay, at ease, Gary. Catherine then tries to express her love for — should they call Jason a boy or a man? Hmm, maybe just guy — her husband-to-be, in a manner so pained Selina rightfully says that "it sounds like you've been kidnapped by the Taliban."
Her kiss with Jason is ... it is not good. But oh, Gary's face when Selina asks him, "How hard is it to kiss somebody?" So much yearning! She asks, sarcastically, if she should have to demonstrate. The way he nods when he says no! All the Emmys this way, please and thank you.
VP Doyle removes himself from the ticket to avoid getting tangled up in the "Oops, we used hacked data to direct a mailer to bereaved parents" catastrophe — Selina's beaming smile as she says "I am furious!" is perfection — and Selina scrambles to replace him with someone as perfect as Senator O'Brien's just-announced running mate, Laura Montez, a senator from New Mexico. How bad is it? According to Amy: "This is Latina-ggedon.
And Doyle might think he isn't going to lie about his reason for bowing out, but he wouldn't want the scandal Ben just brought to his attention — you know, the whole thing where Teddy "has been fondling Jonah's balls like he's trying to find the prize inside" — to come out, now,would he? So Doyle is out with his fake prostate problem, and Teddy gets fired after Doyle accuses him of "twirling Jonah's balls like they're some kind of exotic stress-reducer."
Selina's first option: Chung. Remember him? Our friendly neighborhood torturer/veteran? Only he can fight, as Selina calls her, Sexy-Mexy. He retells his insufferable "Chung-mania-mania" story and takes as much of the 15 minutes as are available to make this decision. Which, it turns out, is a no. "Family issues," he tries. "What, are you knocked up?" Nope, he just doesn't like how Selina "operates."
Amy keeps suggesting Tom James. Selina keeps ignoring her. And this brings us to the real story line of this episode: Amy's emotional meltdown. Sweet Amy: put-upon, smarter than everyone, perpetually abused, and overlooked Amy. Her hatred of Karen, Selina's new yes woman, builds and builds so magnificently over the course of the episode. Amy states the obvious: "She has yet to speak a declarative sentence." But the Selina team isn't about self-evident truths. This is politics! Everything is garbled, edited, polished, re-drafted, polled, vetted, mangled, killed, revived. Amy's greatest strength as a regular person is her greatest weakness in this backwards universe.
Selina tries for Maddox next. He is terrible. He's so terrible, she just can't go through with it. The gang sorts through her already-vetted options. Kent has the radical suggestion of going "all-female," but Selina is NOT feeling that. "Are you trying to blow up the universe now? Who's going to go for two women on the ticket? We could all eat pussy all day long!"
I cannot transcribe Amy's entire explosion here, friends, and I leave it to you to relive the left-right-butt-cheek segment of the rant on your own time, in your own space. But I love how Amy distinguishes Karen's grating idiocy from your more standard political bullshit: "It is not even bullshit. Bullshitting takes talent! You are just a blah blah blah bitch."
And then Amy turns her attention to Selina. Here goes.
"You have two settings: no decision and bad decision! You are the worst thing that has happened to this country since food in buckets, and maybe slavery. I've had enough. I'm gone."
OMG AMY IS G— Oh, wait, one more thing.
"You have achieved nothing, apart from one thing: The fact that you are a woman means we will have no more women presidents because we tried one, and she fucking sucked. Good-bye, ma'am."
I wonder if we're going to get a staffer-on-Selina real-talk argument for everyone in the cast. We've already seen her have an all-out fight with Gary. And look at them now: almost making out on a couch! It's clear by the end of the episode that Selina regrets not listening to Amy in the first place. As soon as Amy points out the naked-emperor status of Karen's non-ideas, Selina can see it, too. Karen, of course, is all, "Oh that was about me! She's just one of those women who resents powerful women." Selina has pure McKayla face. By the time Karen, when asked her opinion of Tom James, says, "I think there's a lot to think," we know she is not long for this world.
Selina calls in Tom James and OMFG TOM JAMES IS HUGH FREAKING LAURIE.
"My knight in shining armor!" "My damsel in ... Madam President." He accepts her invite to be on the ticket in this cute little roundabout way — "I'm afraid with deep regret I'm going to have to accept" — that Selina then makes him repeat for everyone on staff over and over again. The regret is so real.
They have a history, and that is the real reason Selina didn't call him in right away. She is the skeleton in his closet. Any bets on what went down between those two? Leave your guesses in the comments!
Dan has escaped one bizarro hellscape and landed in another: Sydney Puchell's offices. This consultant gig requires him to say things like "I want to take zucchini to the next level" with a straight face. Sydney is calling upon Dan to magically produce some important people to talk to this God of Zucchini while he's in town, but all the VIPs, or even BIPs (Barely Important People), are at the conventions. "The only people left in DC work at CVS." But then Dan remembers he does know someone who appears to be important but is in fact so non-vital he got left in the District: Jonah Ryan. Jonah shows up with Richard, but their plans fall through, one by one. How long do we think Dan is going to last out here in this black-and-white prison made of money?
And a few other things:
Mike says lawyers like to cover their bases. He learned that from his car accident. With a lawyer!
That poor death-row inmate in Louisiana, almost but not quite felled by a failed drug cocktail. "He's half-dead," says Sue. "Half-ecuted," says Ben.
Catherine's obvious misery as she says the atrocious line, "Let's rock these United States!"
"There's nothing on the internet about Montez except the usual nude Photoshop," says Kent. Ugh, ban all men.
"There is no way on God's green cock ..." Thank you, Ben, for introducing that colorful expression into my profanity arsenal.
Sue, deadpan: "Ma'am, I'm elated."
Richard would like an eggnog latte if it's in season.
Farewell, Teddy! He got some great closing lines in, at least: "Which of us hasn't gotten off on some guy's junk? Just for a laugh?" "Everything I've done, I've done to serve you. And that includes fondling Jonah."
"Chou, heard what you said about South Korea. I think you've got the wrong Korea."
Catherine, to the crowd: "Did you guys like that kiss? Cool, we actually bumped teeth there! I guess you didn't see that. It's okay, we have the rest of our lives to practice!"
Compliment of the episode:
Selina, on Laura Montez: "She's brilliant, she's pretty, she's charming, she's a woman! She's fucking ethnic!"
Insult of the episode:
What did Amy do in a past life to deserve Karen? Kent's best guess: "Probably gave the go-ahead to Pearl Harbor."
Jonah shall henceforth be known as:
"Wheel-greaser.” Then again, he has a lot of nicknames.